Whether you call it a Get Home Bag, a Bug Out Bag, a Go Bag, or something else, the basic idea is to have supplies and gear with you to help you get to a safe place in the event of a crisis. To that end, we toss in food, water, first aid, and other goodies, but boredom relievers are often overlooked. Sure, it sounds like a luxury, something frivolous and unnecessary. The thing is, though, depending on the situation you could find yourself stuck in one place for hours on end, whether you like it or not.
Having the foresight to toss a few boredom relievers into your kit will certainly be appreciated down the road. The great thing here is you probably have this kind of stuff sitting around the house already. Even if you don’t, the cost would be minimal to add a few things to your bag.
Deck of cards – at last count, there are roughly a bazillion different games you can play with just a single deck of cards, whether you’re alone or with other players. Heck, you could purchase a special deck consisting of cards listing edible plants and such to make this a multi-use item.
Reading – a small paperback novel wouldn’t take up much space in your bag, provided it isn’t the latest brick released by Stephen King. Or, instead of a novel, perhaps a religious text for some inspirational reading.
Journal – a notebook and a few pencils can be incredibly useful. You could keep track of events and your thoughts about them so you could later turn those notes into a bestselling book! Even if you’re not a writer, getting your thoughts down on paper can often be a stress relief. If nothing else, a few rounds of tic tac toe or Hangman can pass the time if you have someone with you.
Puzzle books – things like crossword puzzles or word finds can help the time pass quickly, provided you’ve included pencils. Don’t rely on pens as they could freeze up, run dry, or even leak over the rest of your gear.
Golf tee games – these go by many names but are basically wood games used with golf tees. You can find them at dollar stores and elsewhere. Many are logic puzzles of one sort or another, such as a triangle shape piece of wood with a bunch of holes filled with tees, save one. One at a time, you jump one tee over the other, removing the tee being jumped. The goal is to get down to just a single tee. These games can be equally entertaining and frustrating.
Ideas For Kids
If you’ll likely be traveling with children, be sure to include some things for them as well. One item I highly recommend is a small stuffed animal for each of your small children. It might be that you had to leave home in such a hurry that their beloved bear or bunny was left behind. Giving them something else to cuddle can make a world of difference to them. On top of that, a few small toys or maybe a couple of coloring books with crayons could be very helpful in calming them down and helping them pass the time.
If the child is old enough for school, you can use most of the ideas above for them, too. If they aren’t, you can do a variation on some of them, like including the card games Old Maid or Go Fish instead of (or in addition to) playing cards.
A coloring book or blank paper (a journal, perhaps) with a few crayons can be entertaining as well. And of course, many kids love to be read to.